Master in Communication and Political Marketing and part of the team that unveiled the “Panama Papers”, Jaramillo considered that “by decreeing the ‘cross death’, the President tacitly accepted that he is not willing to leave power.”
“In this sense, it is not unreasonable to intuit that he will seek re-election,” he stated, beyond the fact that the polls on the management do not give encouraging results to Lasso, who sought the Presidency for a decade and survived two defeats in elections and a previous impeachment attempt
The Government is confident that governing without the counterweight of a legislature, with which it could never agree, will allow it to channel the management.
In fact, Lasso plans to advance on issues that he considers key, but in which he always collided with that dispersed opposition majority, which he faced in Parliament.
The “cross death” allows Lasso to govern by decrees that can only cover “substantive aspects of economic policy”, according to the Legislative Function Law, and that, in addition, must have the approval of the Constitutional Court.
And the Minister of Economy, Pablo Arosemena, has already put words to the plan: to sanction in six months initiatives that the Executive estimated, initially, to promote in two years.
Among these initiatives is the already decreed tax reform (the same day of the “cross death”), the creation of free zones, an Investment Law with which it aspires to add 30,000 million dollars in private investments until 2025 and reforms to the Institute Ecuadorian Social Security (IESS) in search of “giving financial sustainability” to the pension system.
Another of the measures called to generate protests is the labor reform, which Lasso already attempted in 2021 with the Law for the Creation of Opportunities and Fiscal Sustainability, which proposed creating a parallel system for hiring workers under more flexible rules than those of the Work code.
At that time, the AN returned the initiative to the Executive, but now the Minister of Labor, Patricio Donoso, revealed that he will recommend to the president that he contemplate reforms via decree. The Unitary Front of Workers (FUT) has already anticipated that it will take to the streets if it seeks to modify the regulations on the matter.
Finally, the Government is also proposing reforms in the oil sector, key in the Ecuadorian economy, according to the Minister of Energy, Fernando Santos, “to promote the participation of the private sector” in the activity.
Lasso has already tried to get his hands on the area on two occasions: in 2021 the legislature returned the plan and that same year he proposed changes within the Economic Development Law, declared unconstitutional in October 2022.
It is estimated that some of these initiatives will be detailed by the president in his next Report to the Nation, which the presidents provide to the AN and which the former banker will now give next week, apparently from Quito’s Bicentennial Park.
This report will almost coincide with the formalization of the election date by the CNE, which will mark the formal start of the race for the legislative majority and for the main seat of the Executive.
“Officially, the country has already entered election mode. The main political actors will be more concerned with consolidating their candidacies. They will do this by leading actions against the Government, which is rejected by eight out of ten Ecuadorians. Instability will be a constant. The opposition will migrate from the Assembly to the streets”, said Jaramillo.
In this still incipient “election mode”, the ruling party seems to have the most complex task, because it will be difficult for it to come up with a name that can regroup the sectors that supported Lasso, even the anti-correistas.
In the event that Lasso himself is not a candidate, the Minister of the Interior, Henry Cucalón, sounds like, although I CREATE –the force created by the president- will seek an alliance.
Part of his electorate will be fought by the Social Christian Party (PSC), which already anticipated through former assemblyman Esteban Torres that there will be no alliance with the Correista Union for Hope (Unes) or with Pachakutik, the political arm of the indigenous movement.
The Social Christians could bet on the historic Jaime Nebot, mayor of Guayaquil, former legislator and two-time candidate for the Presidency. “He is the most powerful name,” Torres said.
The name of magnate Álvaro Noboa also appears in some media, almost a custom in the country: he was a candidate in six presidential elections.
The indigenous movement, meanwhile, can repeat with Yaku Pérez, third in 2021, try the head of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), Leónidas Iza, or, as some internal groups have already promoted, bet on former legislator Salvador Quishpe.
Former independent legislator Fernando Villavicencio confirmed that he is negotiating with some figures and parties for his eventual nomination on behalf of an alliance of “many sectors and different ideologies.”
Another with chances is Lenin Moreno’s former vice president, Otto Sonnenholzner, who also spoke of a possible coalition that would lead him. “He is the tab on the right,” ex-president Rafael Correa said of him. And the list closes with Dalton Bacigalupo, of the Democratic Left.
But surely the most attention will fall on the one chosen by Unes, with high chances of victory if the results of the regional elections in February are taken into account, when he won the mayoralties of Quito and Guayaquil, the two main cities in the country.
The economist Andrés Arauz, Lasso’s rival two years ago, lowered his own chances of running again and Correa limited himself, for the moment, to affirming that the 47 legislators who made up the party caucus until Wednesday will once again be on the list to the AN.
The name of the journalist Carlos Rabascall, second in the 2021 formula, is one of those that emerges strongly with the party.
And in this apparent aspiration he seemed to flirt with Conaie, with a message on Twitter in which he denied that he already had an agreement with Iza, but in which he remarked that he recognized and respected “his leadership”.